We scored a few more cases after some recent reviews of the 2017 vintage, and the extra time in bottle has helped this wine integrate beautifully. 00 wines, or Double Zero, was started by a long-time customer Chris Hermann, who set up shop in the Willamette Valley and has quickly become the top source for domestic Chardonnay. The 2016s 00 were a huge success, so we are happy 2017 is following suit. These are styled to be somewhere close to a Meursault in our opinion and with silky textures, lemon pith, apple and peach blossom, perfume, salinity, stone, a slight touch of paraffin, straw, wild grasses, and herbs. The VGW, or "Very Good Wine," is about as simple as one could put it as this is indeed a very good wine. Sourced from a collection of single vineyards from Von Ohensen, Seven Springs, and Anahata. The production method used here is referred to as "The Black Method". There is no gentle press here; the grapes are crushed for maximum skin contact, increasing the amount of oxygen contact. This 'beat up' juice is a very dark brown, almost black at times, and left to sit before it goes right into the barrel. It's believed that this early oxygen contact strengthens the wine for aging and develops more complexity. This method was employed by many of the old school white Burgundy producers before the gentler press, and extra Sulfur style became popular, which is possibly linked to the onset of premox for newer Burgundies. Just something to ponder while you enjoy your VGW. A very bright and pleasing wine with 20% new oak, minimal sulfites, wild yeast fermentation, and minimal intervention. The 2017 VGW is just that and should be on any Chardonnay lovers Radar, whether Burgundy or domestic.
Vinous (Josh Raynolds) 95 points! "Pale yellow-gold. Highly expressive, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh melon, pear, tangerine and succulent flowers, along with saffron, vanilla and floral nuances that build in the glass. Shows impressive depth as well as liveliness on the palate, offering mineral-accented Meyer lemon, nectarine, Anjou pear and honeydew flavors that pick up a spicy accent on the back half. Emphatically repeats the pear and spice notes on the impressively long, subtly sweet finish, which delivers powerful thrust and a touch of smoky lees."
John Gilman 93 points! "The VGW bottling (Very Good White) is the entry-level bottling of Chardonnay from Chris Hermann at OO. The 2017 version was produced from fruit sourced from four different vineyards, three of them in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, including Seven Springs Vineyard. The 38 wine was raised in twenty percent new oak for one year and then finished with another five months in stainless steel tank prior to bottling. The wine is gently reductive out of the blocks, auguring well for a long life in bottle, as it offers up scents of apple, pear, hazelnut, a superb base of soil tones, a touch of honeysuckle and a discreet framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and nicely reserved in personality, with a fine core of fruit, lovely soil transparency, zesty acids and lovely length and grip on the nascently complex finish. This is very Meursault-like in its stylistic sensibilities, with different soil signature. I would be inclined to let it see a bit of bottle age, as it is clearly built for the long haul, but it is so tasty out of the blocks that I suspect plenty of bottles will not see all that much time in the cellar. Fine, fine juice! 2020-2045